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Depends on weigh of bike and riding conditions. Not everyone is going through the woods. Pogo on a street bike messes with the contact patch.
:LOL: sure
wtf do you think I only ride dirt bikes, I do go fast and go far motorcycles too ya know, always have,
probably since before you were born I'm guessing

 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Depends on weigh of bike and riding conditions. Not everyone is going through the woods. Pogo on a street bike messes with the contact patch.
Are you saying that it makes sense to use thinner oil for off-road use, and thicker oil for street use? (I am also sure it's way more complicated and specific to the bike too.)
 

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Phew! I was a bit worried I'd made a mistake!

In terms of the guns though, I actually find it odd that people do own so many guns in the states. For me it's just a totally different situation, not that I'm really against them.

I have a friend in Alaska who owns a few guns. I'm hoping to visit her one day, I'd like to try shooting out!
When you say clean it like a gun to a North American they usually know exactly what you mean. I love guns, don't have much use for shooting them ever.
Skeet shooting is fun, that's where you launch clay discs into the air and try to take them out in mid flight with a shotgun, that's pretty cool and can be done in a controlled environment. Everybody should know how to handle a gun even if they never have need to use one. We were taught about guns as soon as we were old enough to start picking one up.
 

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Are you saying that it makes sense to use thinner oil for off-road use, and thicker oil for street use? (I am also sure it's way more complicated and specific to the bike too.)
No, all I'm saying is I hear of people going to 20 weight oil thinking it will make the suspension work better and most forks are not designed for 20 weight oil. ... I run 7 weight and it works for me on all my bikes ymmv. I expect lots of bikes run 10 weight and even more motorcycle riders have never changed their fork oil, so they are riding on the original sludge mixed with some water and bits of aluminum powder.
 

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Your motorcycle rides on the springs, your shock only dampens the spring movement, you don't want to kill that movement. Compression dampening is a poor substitute for the wrong spring or preload. Not a lot of motorcycles have adjustable rebound and compression dampening adjusters, only top line forks have that. Put thick oil in those forks and your range of adjustment just went to full retard.
... always best to start out what the factory manual states for your bike and work from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
No, all I'm saying is I hear of people going to 20 weight oil thinking it will make the suspension work batter and most forks are not designed for 20 weight oil. ... I run 7 weight and it works for me on all my bikes ymmv. I expect lots of bikes run 10 weight and even more motorcycle riders have never changed their fork oil, so they are riding on the original sludge mixed with some water and bits of aluminum powder.
Time to dig through the service history and see if my bikes ever had fresh fork oil, it's 20 years old so I'm hoping it has!

Speaking of which, what's a good rough time interval for replacing fork oil? (As with all fluids I can imagine it depends on mileage, application and more.)
 

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I ride my trials bikes a Lot, so for the competition bikes seasonally which is 4 times a year, for my street bikes seasonally translates to once a year.

... that's about the same interval as I change the engine and transmission oil too.
 

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Brake fluid flush every 2 or 3 years tops if the bike is stored outside.
We live in a very humid environment, no deserts here, riders in somewhere like Utah or Arizona likely have far less concern.

If your brakes ever stick on when they get hot and repeatedly need bleeding, change out your brake fluid, you have water in it, unless you have Dot5 brakes, then it's less likely to have moisture in the brakes because Dot 5 is not ethyl glycol based
 

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I made a heck of a mess flushing a set of brakes yesterday and got fluid all over the brake disc and pads, try not to do that but if you do wash it off with lots of water before you try riding it.
 

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Are you saying that it makes sense to use thinner oil for off-road use, and thicker oil for street use? (I am also sure it's way more complicated and specific to the bike too.)
I'm saying off-road bikes have longer travel and the contact is dirt and an under-dampened street motorcycle loads and unloads the front tire which is DANGEROUS, especially in the wet. Telling a new rider to go lighter on the fork oil than manufacturer specific is full on stupid and irresponsible.
 

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Trails motorcycle have very modest suspension travel, almost the same as the street bike.
and I told them to go by the manual and to not go to 20 weight thinking that will work better. Lively suspensions work better!

Does your motorcycle even have both compression and rebound dampening control adjusters?
his likely will not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Just checked the Haynes manual, apparently my CB500S takes 10W fork oil. So I shall be sticking with that.

As for the brake fluid, after my bike was sat for a few months, the brake fluid had actually gone brown! Good thing that was changed!
 

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I actually find it odd that people do own so many guns in the states.
It's just another hobby for most but there are some serious collectors too. It's a "mine is bigger than yours" thing for quite a few. Bragging rights. I have more than I can actually use but my taste changes and that new gun looks like a must have suddenly. But never sell any. I made that mistake once and never again. You don't have to feed an inactive gun so it's paid for and doesn't cost anymore to keep it. So you don't start out collecting them but you might end up with a sizable collection. Just like having more motorcycles you can use. I wish I had back every motorcycle I sold. But unlike guns which take little space, space was the reason I couldn't keep all my motorcycles. So don't think of people as gun nuts, it just happens with most that they end up with several guns. It's no biggy.
 

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Suspension, that's an art in itself.

Most guys I've seen do run the equivalent of 20w. Bel Ray, Spectro, Maxima, there are quite a few companies that make oil just for forks.

Think about it, you are a guy that weighs 285lbs. Your buddie weighs in at 165 lbs.
You are gonna want a lot more stiffer spring
than your buddie. Both front and rear.
And thicker oil to handle the added strength of that spring.


A lot of the newer bikes, especially dirt bikes, have ways to adjust how easily the oil moves thru the forks or shocks.
By turning a screw in or out, you can increase the damping, or rate of oil flow thru the fork or shock. A rough track, a heavy rider, you will want a heavier oil and stiffer spring. Or instead of changing out the oil just turn in on the fork or shock adjusters, some call them clickers, to kind of get the same effect.

If it feels too springy, if you feel a clunk when the wheel leaves the ground over a jump or big bump, some call that topping out. Go heavier on adjustment, go heavier on oil weight. If the forks or shock don't seem to be extending and compressing quick enough, feeling dull or sluggish, go lighter on oil and or adjustment.

Most every manufacturer will have, in the manual, what weight and how much oil each fork will take. Shocks, or the shock, send that out to a suspension company. Unless you have the special tools, most do.

Best thing, imho, just start with what the factory recommends, with adjusters half in or out. Like these guys said, keep everything clean, be careful.

Like I said, it's kind of an art. Most won't notice the finer points of suspension. Look at Trials, he's found 7w works good for him. I would not know where to even get 7w oil.

But then again, I've found ATF, yes, automatic transmission fluid, worked good, fork wise, in a few bikes I've had.

Ya, to some, it's an art really.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Suspension, that's an art in itself.

Most guys I've seen do run the equivalent of 20w. Bel Ray, Spectro, Maxima, there are quite a few companies that make oil just for forks.

Think about it, you are a guy that weighs 285lbs. Your buddie weighs in at 165 lbs.
You are gonna want a lot more stiffer spring
than your buddie. Both front and rear.
And thicker oil to handle the added strength of that spring.


A lot of the newer bikes, especially dirt bikes, have ways to adjust how easily the oil moves thru the forks or shocks.
By turning a screw in or out, you can increase the damping, or rate of oil flow thru the fork or shock. A rough track, a heavy rider, you will want a heavier oil and stiffer spring. Or instead of changing out the oil just turn in on the fork or shock adjusters, some call them clickers, to kind of get the same effect.

If it feels too springy, if you feel a clunk when the wheel leaves the ground over a jump or big bump, some call that topping out. Go heavier on adjustment, go heavier on oil weight. If the forks or shock don't seem to be extending and compressing quick enough, feeling dull or sluggish, go lighter on oil and or adjustment.

Most every manufacturer will have, in the manual, what weight and how much oil each fork will take. Shocks, or the shock, send that out to a suspension company. Unless you have the special tools, most do.

Best thing, imho, just start with what the factory recommends, with adjusters half in or out. Like these guys said, keep everything clean, be careful.

Like I said, it's kind of an art. Most won't notice the finer points of suspension. Look at Trials, he's found 7w works good for him. I would not know where to even get 7w oil.

But then again, I've found ATF, yes, automatic transmission fluid, worked good, fork wise, in a few bikes I've had.

Ya, to some, it's an art really.
Thanks for the advice, interesting that automatic transmission fluid worked for some of your bikes. I'd of never even thought about that; for now I'll stick with what the factory recommended.

I do need to invest in a C spanner, I take passengers fairly often, but so far only for short distances so I've gotten away with not touching the rear suspension. However, over summer I'll likely have pillions for further distances, so I'll need to set the bike up for that properly. Is there anything I should look out for when buying a C spanner? May as well get a good one if I'm gonna invest in one.
 

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.... Is there anything I should look out for when buying a C spanner? May as well get a good one if I'm gonna invest in one.
Isn't there one in the tool kit that came with the motorcycle? Should be.

Springs can be progressive or linear wound. Progressive springs are more for comfort riding, part of the spring reacts to small loads, competition bikes generally have linear rated springs where the first inch of travel requires the same additional weight input as the second. Street bikes like yours will almost certainly be fitted with progressive springs and much of the preload adjustment you have available just compresses that weakest part of the springs travel.

... somebody mentioned topping out of the front forks, that doesn't happen because your oil is not thick enough, that happens because you don't have enough oil in the forks and they are running in air or air bubbles. Some forks even have an extra spring for the fork to top out against. If your front forks are going clunk clunk all the time you have a maintenance problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Isn't there one in the tool kit that came with the motorcycle? Should be.
Sadly not, there wasn't much left of the original toolkit. I could do with getting some sort of nice toolkit to keep on the bike (I know I should've done this in the past...) do you know of any full kits? Or should I just make up my own?
 

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Make up a tool kit, I wear a belt pack and keep most of the tools I would ever need in that, along with money, wallet, keys and paperwork, first aid kit, tire pressure gauge,swiss army knife, zip ties, tiny air pump, chocolate bars, dog cookies, face mask .... anything I might need.

Motorcycle wreckers (I think you call them motorcycle breakers) sell original toolkit parts like the spanner for adjusting the rear shocks.
 

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Just kidding guy.

Although I do have a set of vice grips that have a chain on them, you'd be surprised how much you can do with it Anything round, they really work good

 
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